In Time Andrew Niccol

In Time Andrew Niccol
Justin Timberlake as a temporal Robin Hood. If Fox had marketed that angle of Andrew Niccol's unchecked capitalism allegory, the domestic haul may have matched the film's overseas take. Successful for being an engaging collection of socialist ideas framing a handful of propulsive car chases and likeable characters, rather than as a plausible narrative, In Time is more rewarding if one is forgiving of plot mechanics and focuses on the raw ideas at play. The sentiment that "time is money" is taken to the extreme in the future world Niccol has concocted. People are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, but only have a year left after that unless they work to put more time on their clock. That clock is a glowing account on every person's arm, constantly ticking down to a heart attack at zero. Time is currency and the centralization of wealth is greater than ever, with flippantly jacked bus fares literally killing slum dwellers forced to live minute to minute. One such inhabitant of the ghetto, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), gets caught up in a tiff between petty gangsters (led by the typically horrible Alex Pettyfer, actually giving a half decent performance as a smarmy prick unhindered by an American accent) and a man rich enough to be functionally immortal, who has grown disillusioned with the societal structure that affords him the privilege. Finding himself with a surplus of years and a vendetta against the upper class tyrants keeping the have and have-nots segregated, Salas sets out on a destabilization mission, contending with an ideologically inflexible Time Keeper (basically Feds who only give a damn about currency) and getting involved with the daughter of one of the wealthiest men on the planet along the way. Working with actors of such a specific age group, Niccol did a solid job casting not just charming leads playing near their age in Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, but in selecting Cillian Murphy and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) to portray elderly men of import rendered eternally young. The central metaphor is by no means subtle, but making such a damning comparison to contemporary power structures gives this science fiction caper some fire in its belly and a reason to have been put to page in the first place. With the weight and cost of immortality in question, there are some missed opportunities for some heavy philosophical dialogue, instead pushing the story towards the emergence of a new folk hero, which is plenty entertaining, but less cerebrally stimulating than it could have been coming from the writer/director of Gattaca. On the DVD release, there are no features expanding on the ideology of In Time, which would have been welcome, only a smattering of deleted and extended scenes, one of which that denied theatrical audiences a look at Seyfried's bottom, a couple of thankfully chopped awkward scenes and a few choice one liners from Murphy that would have added a little more zest to the final picture. (Fox)